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Most people who have tried to eat a healthy diet will tell you that moderation of unhealthy foods is a lot easier than trying to eliminate them from your diet altogether. Today, though, people are constantly thinking of healthy alternatives to your favorite foods, so you can enjoy the taste without the calories.

Now, we’re bringing you some of our favorite skinny dessert recipes from around the web so that you can satisfy your sweet tooth without ruining your health goals.

1. Big Fudgy Bittersweet Brownies

Calories per serving: 250

The plain yogurt in these brownies will give you four grams of protein per serving, and the cocoa powder and baking chocolate will satisfy any chocolate lover’s cravings.


  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg white
  • 3 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3 ounces high-quality, unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped
  • 1/3 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup buckwheat or pre-sifted whole wheat flour


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat an eight-inch, square nonstick baking pan with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg white, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
  • In a small saucepan, combine sugar, oil, salt, and three tablespoons water, stirring constantly for three minutes on medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Stir in cocoa and chocolate until chocolate melts, then add egg mixture. Add all flour, stirring until batter is smooth.
  • Pour batter into baking pan. Bake 25 minutes or until top is firm. Cool completely in pan on rack. Cut into squares.

2. Blueberry Almond Turtles

Calories per turtle: 104

These are a delicious, healthy twist on a classic candy. The blueberries pack in plenty of antioxidants, and the almonds will give you protein and fiber. And at just 104 calories per serving, you don’t have to feel guilty about snacking away.


  • 7 Tbsp (2.5 oz) 60% cocoa bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup dried wild blueberries
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds


  • Microwave chocolate in a glass bowl for 60 to 75 seconds or until melted.
  • Stir in blueberries and nuts. Then, drop five rounded tablespoons onto parchment paper.
  • Cool in refrigerator for two to four minutes or until firm. The recipe makes five turtles.

3. Honey Oatmeal-Raisin Cookies

Calories per cookie: 100

This recipe is a great twist on a classic cookie. With just 100 calories and only five grams of fat per cookie, these are a way better alternative than the Oreos in your dorm vending machine.


  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup canola oil
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup smooth unsalted almond butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 cup whole-wheat pastry flour, or 1/2 cup each all-purpose and whole-wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raisins


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Mist two baking sheets with cooking spray. Beat the butter, canola oil, honey, egg, almond butter and vanilla extract in a large bowl with a mixer until combined.
  • In another bowl, whisk the dry milk, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir to combine. Stir in the oats and raisins.
  • Then, scoop tablespoons of batter, about two inches apart, onto the prepared baking sheets. Bake until golden, about 12 minutes. Let the cookies cool for two minutes on the baking sheets and then transfer to a rack to cool completely. You can store the cookies in a loosely covered container for up to three days.

4. Strawberry Swirl Bars

Calories per serving: 240

Made with Greek yogurt, these bars are way healthier than your average slice of cheesecake, while still tasting great. If you love fruit, this is the perfect low-cal treat to finish off a meal.


  • 1 c. low-fat graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 c. non-fat vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 1 8 oz. package reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. Splenda
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 tbsp. flour
  • 4 tbsp. sugar-free strawberry jelly


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter together and press into an 8 x 8 in. baking plan. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
  • Blend the Greek yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, eggs, and flour in a food processor until smooth.
  • Swirl the 4 tbsp. of jelly into the mixture. Pour over the baked crust.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling is solidified. Let cool.
  • Cover and refrigerate for several hours prior to serving. Makes 9 squares.

5. Peanut Butter Macaroons

Calories per cookie: 48

If you love peanut butter, you’ll love this healthy cookie recipe. And with just 48 calories each, they’re almost too good to be true. Using egg whites cuts down on the cholesterol, and the peanut butter will give you protein to get through your day.


  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Dash salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups chocolate-flavored crisp rice cereal
  • 1/3 cup chopped, honey-roasted peanuts


  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper and set aside.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, beat egg whites, cream of tartar and salt with an electric mixer on high speed until soft peaks form (tips curl). Gradually add sugar, about one tablespoon at a time, beating until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Gently fold in peanut butter. Fold in cereal. Drop mixture by rounded teaspoons two inches apart onto the prepared cookie sheets. Sprinkle with chopped peanuts.
  • Bake for 10 minutes. Turn oven off and let cookies dry in oven with door closed for 15 minutes. Remove macaroons from cookie sheets to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 30 macaroons.

6. Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

Calories per serving: not listed

If classic PB&J is more your style, you’ll love these dessert bars. They’re as satisfying as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, and using natural peanut butter and a butter substitute makes the recipe even healthier.


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup flour (whole-wheat or regular)
  • 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • 3/4 cup raspberry preserves
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips, optional


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 8- or 9-inch square baking pan.
  • In a large bowl, combine the cream, butter and peanut butter with brown sugar. Add egg and vanilla. Stir in powder and salt. Gently mix in flour, then oats.
  • Pat half of mixture into prepared pan. Spread with preserves and top with chocolate chips, if using. Crumble remaining mixture over the top of the preserves.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown, and set. If you want them to slice perfectly, let them cool for at least 30 minutes.

7. Banana “Soft Serve”

Calories per serving: 108.5

If you’re craving a banana split, whip up this healthier version instead. You’ll be able to enjoy your favorite fruit without totally blowing your daily calories.


  • Four frozen bananas, peeled


  • Place frozen, peeled bananas in the bowl of a food processor.
  • Pulse several times to break into smaller pieces, then turn on and run for about five minutes, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The bananas will start to resemble soft serve in a few minutes.
  • Transfer to a bowl and place in the freezer for about 15 minutes, or serve immediately.


There you have it, collegiettes—these recipes prove that you can enjoy a delicious dessert and be healthy at the same time. You don’t have to sacrifice taste for nutrition with these skinny desserts, so don’t feel guilty if you decide to try them all. We recommend not trying them at the same time, though: Everything should be taken in moderation, because even a “skinny” dessert can become unhealthy if you eat too many of them.

Want more healthy dessert recipes? Check these out!

Meghan is a senior at UNC-Chapel Hill studying classics and English. She has interned at Girls' Life and Parenting magazines and was a Collegiate Correspondent with USA TODAY in Spring 2012. Meghan loves all things entertainment related and plans to move to New York and work for a national magazine after graduating in May 2013.
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